Just weeks after former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against Fox Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes alleging unwanted sexual advances and, upon her refusal, career sabotage, Ailes is resigning from his role, effective immediately.
On Thursday afternoon, 21st Century Fox announced Ailes’ resignation. Rupert Murdoch, the press release stated, would assume Ailes’ old roles.
Murdoch’s comment did not address the obvious — that Ailes is resigning in the midst of not just Carlson’s allegations but similar claims from many other women, reportedly including multi-million-dollar-earning Fox star Megyn Kelly — but instead noted Ailes’ “remarkable contribution to our company and our country.”
“Roger shared my vision of a great and independent television organization and executed it brilliantly over 20 great years,” Murdoch’s statement goes on. “Fox News has given voice to those who were ignored by the traditional networks and has been one of the great commercial success stories of modern media.” He complimented Ailes for building Fox (“Roger has defied the odds”) his intellectual horsepower (“his grasp of policy”) and formidable communication skills (“his ability to make profoundly important issues accessible to a broader audience”).
Murdoch’s sons, Lachlan and James — executive chairman and CEO of 21st Century Fox, respectively — also thanked Ailes for his “remarkable contributions to our company.”
Fox News Host Sues Roger Ailes Over Sexual HarassmentEconomy by CREDIT: AP Photo/Richard Drew Gretchen Carlson, a longtime Fox News host, has filed a lawsuit against Fox…thinkprogress.orgDrudge Report has a letter from Ailes to Murdoch which, again, does not mention or even allude to Carlson’s allegations. Ailes writes, in part, “Having spent 20 years building this historic business, I will not allow my presence to become a distraction from the work that must be done every day to ensure that Fox News and Fox Business continue to lead our industry.” He also writes that he is excited “to continuing to [sic] work with you as an adviser in building 21st Century Fox.”
New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman reported that Ailes will get $60 million “over a period of time that includes consulting.”